Project GROW


The Elk Grove Unified School District Department is in the third year of a three year Elementary School Counseling Grant from the US Department of Education. The grant entitled Project GROW (Getting Ready for Our World) is being implemented at Samuel Kennedy, Herman Leimbach, Charles E. Mack, Barbara Comstock Morse and Union House Elementary Schools. The mission for this program is to “create respectful, responsible and safe learning environments that support children’s social, emotional and mental health.”


Program Elements

Project GROW is a three-tiered continuum of care model:


Tier 1 – Positive Behavior Interventions and Supports (PBIS): Schools will build upon the PBIS work underway at their sites through the following activities: 1) form a PBIS team; 2) complete a school self-assessment that will analyze school site and community data; 3) establish and define school-wide behavioral expectations; 4) establish a system of ongoing rewards; 5) develop a system for responding to behavioral violations; 6) develop strategies for building school-to-home connections; and 7) identify sources of ongoing data for evaluation of program effectiveness and continuing quality improvement. The goal of PBIS is to teach students pro-social behavior and reduce exclusionary discipline.


Tier 2 – Second Step: Students who could benefit from participating in activities that will enhance school adjustment, social competence, and leadership skills will be referred to Project GROW (Getting Ready for Our World) groups by school staff.


Students who participate in a GROW group meet with a credentialed EGUSD school counselor and three to five other children once a week for a total of 12 weeks. Each session lasts approximately 50 minutes. Utilizing the “Second Step” curriculum, students will participate in instruction, modeling, role play and reinforcement. They will learn social skills which are intended to enhance empathy, emotional management, problem solving and self-regulation. Priority for participation on GROW Groups will be given to children from military-connected families per the grant application.


Tier 3 – Intensive Services: Tier 3 will support children who have not responded positively to Tier 1 or Tier 2 services through site-based mental health counseling, referral and case management. Project GROW has entered into service-level agreements with five community-based agencies that will deliver individual and family counseling services at the school site. These agencies are the Child and Family Institute; La Familia Counseling Center; Hmong Women’s Heritage; WellSpace Health; and Asian Pacific Counseling Center. All agencies will support children’s mental health services through the County Access Referral process. Agencies can also provide services to non-MediCal families through other funding sources and on a sliding-scale fee-based schedule.


Signed parental consent forms will be required for a child to participate in Tier 2 and/or Tier 3 services.